LISTEN TO THE LIVE CONVERSATION BETWEEN ROBERT PAISOLA OF CNN I REPORT AND THE VICTIMS LIVE AT:
This is a real life story of how one suburban family fell victim to the American Dream and lost. Listen as this family explains all that they have done and all that they have lost just to be able to fight back against Corporate America.
One families determination and ambition to stand up for what is right can change an entire industry. We at CNN I Report, present this story in it's complete and unedited form.
Reporting Live from Salt Lake City, Utah, this is Robert Paisola for CNN I REPORT. All comments should be forwarded to email@example.com
Wyndham Vacation Resorts
Stephen P. Holmes, Acting CEO
Stephen A. Rudnitsky
8427 SouthPark Circle, Suite 500
August 27, 2008
Re: Contract #190804864
To whom it may concern:
We are still disputing the Wyndham decision not to allow us our legal right to rescind the contract of March 14, 2008. We have had numerous conversations and correspondence with your Dan Luke, Wyndham owner's relations representative; conversations with your Richmond Ross, salesman/real estate agent; and receipt of numerous unsigned letters, from you financial department without any resolution.
D.J. or B.J., an employee at the information desk, asked us to attend an evaluation, during the week. We asked if it was a presentation and we were assured that it was not. We attended what we were assured was just an evaluation on March 14, 2008. We interpreted the evaluation to be a marketing questionnaire to evaluate our enjoyment of the resort and Nashville sights. We thought it may take around one hour.
We met your employee, Richmond Ross, who gave us a history of Wyndham including the name changes of Cendant, Trend West, Fairfield, Worldmark and that they are number one in the business. We were asked about our "dream" to go to Hawaii and how we needed his help to achieve this "dream" and how it could be achieved through Wyndham's points program. Richmond told us that a salesman had to be a real estate agent to sell timeshare in the state of Tennessee.
We were informed that we could convert our RCI weeks to Wyndham's points at a discounted price, if we had not been invited to attend a points presentation in the United States. Richmond Ross- salesman/real estate agent then got the sales manager involved, who finally authorized the discounted offer to us.
With the information we received and the benefit of this old offer of converting from RCI weeks to Wyndham points at a discounted price, we felt that we would buy into the points program and additional programs. By this time we were becoming very overwhelmed, hungry and tired.
Prior to signing the contract we asked Richmond Ross, your salesman/real estate agent, if there was a cooling off period? Without hesitation, he said "yes, 15 days, why are you going to cancel?" He appeared surprised when we asked. We said no. Again when he was telling us about the other hotels that were under Wyndham's umbrella, where we could get discounts, we said, good, we will use that benefit on our way home.
Richmond Ross said no, that the registration of the contract would not take place until after the cooling off period, during which we could cancel the contract and therefore would not be able to use the benefits from the program until after that.
One page in the package titled "Contract Cancellation" clearly stated that there was a 10 day cancellation period if there is an on site inspection and a 15 day cancellation period where there was no on site inspection. As we had not been toured around the resort, shown other sized units or their furnishings, no conversation or information concerning the resort or future plans, and no indication from your Richmond Ross that by staying at the resort constituted an on site inspection, we felt no on site inspection had been held, and therefore we were entitled to the 15 day cooling off period, and would spend a few more days to evaluate the program to ensure if the program was for us.
At this point we were in touch with ARDA, CARDA, and our RCI POINTS REPRESENTATIVE, RAPID RESALE REPRESENTATIVE and our LAWYER.
We had a letter in our file from our property manager Gary Kennedy, in Collingwood, Ontario concerning the RCI points program in July 2007. We had not pursued this information because it was of no interest to us. Upon reviewing and pondering over the material that you sent home with us, and talking to the above mentioned parties, we determined that this program, Wyndham points, was not for us.
As you know, we sent a cancellation notice to you by certified mail on March 27, 2008 which was within the 15 days cooling off period which your salesman told us and our interpretation of an on site inspection. We were on site but did not inspect anything, and therefore we did not have an on-site inspection.
Our numerous phone conversations with your "Owner Relations", representative, Dan Luke have been unsuccessful in resolving this issue. It appears that he and Wyndham have no interest in listening to our understanding of the "cooling off period". We relied on the information that was provided to us by your salesman/real estate agent, Richmond Ross: re: the 15 day cooling off period.
The first indication that our contract would not be rescinded, occurred when we received a phone call from Lopez on May 8 in your finance department requesting payment of the contract. We told them that we had sent a letter cancelling the contract. They said they had no record but gave me the phone number of George in Fort Lauderdale. George acknowledged receipt of our letter and gave me the phone number of Dan Luke Senior Specialist Owner Care Lead Hand in owner relations Las Vegas to contact with regards to the cancellation. George said he would send him an e-mail.
I called and left a message on his voice mail to call me. His voice mail message said that he would call back within 48 hours. On May 12, I received a call from Dan Luke who asked a few questions and I emphasized that there was no on site inspection and therefore we were entitled to 15 days which matched what we were told by your salesman Richmond Ross.
Dan Luke said that the information had been sent to rescissions. He asked and we complied to send by fax cancellation letters and certified mail receipts to him again. We emphasized the fact that we had been told 15 days by your salesman and he indicated that because we stayed at the resort that constituted and on site inspection. He said that we would hear back in 7-10 days. He said he would contact Richmond Ross, the salesman/real estate agent at Wyndham, Nashville to see if that was what he told us. When he got back to us he said that Richmond did not say 15 days.
A call was placed to Richmond Ross and a message left to call Suzanne Clark. When he returned Suzanne's call he said he felt sick when he heard her message. He didn't want us not trusting him. He sounded shocked that we wouldn't want to be in the Wyndham Program. He will do everything he can to get us out of the contract. He will "go up the food chain". He said we were nice people and he didn't want us going through all this and he would get back to us in approximately 24 hours.
He said someone had called his office and spoke to someone in his office, but it wasn't him. Richmond is going to call Dan Luke in Nevada. He took both phone numbers ("another run around"?). Suzanne called Richmond back approximately one week later as he hadn't called back in the 24 hours. He said the person he wanted to talk to about cancelling the contract had been away, but he made the following suggestions:
1. That my husband Wayne had medical problems that created a financial burden and we needed to get out of the contract because it was a hardship issue.
2. Say we didn't get the new owner's kit; that they were out of new books. Was going to be "in the mail" but never came.
3. Periodically -letter "feet to the fire" told to sign it with Wyndham, re: books. had insisted on it.
4. Get an attorney to write a letter, get the right attorney. I said, "we can't do this it's not our style." He said they don't like that trouble.
5. He said others had defaulted on credit and were not prosecuted.
Richmond said he could get fired for sharing this information. He said they don't pay him enough to have us this upset with him. I told him we lost trust in their company and we wouldn't deal with them if it was free. There was no mistaking that.
He reminded me that Wyndham owns RCI. I mentioned we were good RCI members, paid up until May 2013 and we wanted this matter settled.
We have done considerable research on the problems other people have had dealing with your company and if we knew ahead of time of the reputation of your company we would not have entertained attending your "evaluation" and entering a contract to buy into the Wyndham Points Program.
We believe the integrity of your salesman that sold us the contract is questionable.
He will not admit that he told us that the cooling off period was 15 days. He never mentioned about the on site inspection. Further more, your Mr. Luke told us that he talked to our salesman regarding the 15 day cooling off period, when in fact he never did talk to him, confirmed by Richmond Ross, but talked to someone else in the office. I therefore wonder about the integrity of your Mr. Luke.
With the amount of material we were given it took days to go over every detail to ensure that the contract we were entering could be the right thing for us.
We drove over an hour each way to Lewiston, New York because your instructions were that it had to be sent from a U.S. post office, to mail the cancellation notice, which you acknowledged as being received within the 15 days. We faxed copies of the cancellation notice to your offices in Las Vegas and Orlando.
We would not have gone to all this trouble if we were aware that we had missed the allowed cooling off period. We firmly believe we acted within the time frame that was presented to us, for cancellation of this contract and that we are within our rights to ask for the return of our deposit and the cancellation of this contract and all extra programs.
Additional Information gathered over several months to support that our right to rescission, cancel the contract, were ignored by Wyndham employees.
It is a Civil Right to make contracts. Our right to rescind was taken away by the Wyndham employees.
1. We came to the Nashville Resort as RCI Weeks Exchange Owners. We were asked to attend an evaluation? This became a history of Wyndham, into a points information session, then a sales presentation. We were not prepared!!
2. We weren't a short stay deal or reduced rates or trial offer or Vacation Package. Those people are required to go to a presentation and they know it and would have done their homework.
We relied on the salesman, Richmond Ross who said you have to have a real estate licence to sell Timeshare in Tennessee. (Implies Trust). He wouldn't want to lose his licence. I asked him directly about "a cooling off period". "He said 15 days, why are you going to cancel?" He looked up and looked surprised. I said no. We entered into the contract in good faith. We felt that 15 days would give us enough time to check things out, so we signed a contract, knowing we had the right to cancel a contract with no explanation.
I didn't find these articles until, July 4, 2008. Excerpts from Time Sharing in the United States (J STOR, by Curtis J. Berger).
Page #144-The Tennessee statute also provides for a "cooling off" period of 10 days for buyers who have been given an on site inspection and 15 days for those who have not visited the site. This was not indicated to us by your salesman.
Page #145-Some states now require a license for all timeshare sales agents. The purpose of the licensing requirement is to bar unethical and incompetent parties from engaging in sales activity and to provide an incentive, the threat of revoking their license, for continued unfair dealing with prospective buyers.
Code of Ethics and Standards- there should not to be misleading terms. Presentation should be presented in a clear manner, not intended to confuse the consumer. Again. 10 days for those who were given an on site inspection. We know we didn't inspect any thing, nor were we offered to do so. Of course the 15 days for no inspection matched up with real estate/salesman's answer to the cooling off period. Why would we question this?
Act of Omission
The act or an instance of omitting something that has been left out or passed over. The point that we are sitting in Tennessee in the timeshare office which means we are on site?
-The act of missing out or failing to do something (silence).
-A substantial monetary loss (not being allowed to rescind).
Wayne and Suzanne's Information about an on site inspection:
Some definitions of the word inspect:
to inspect - to examine or look over very carefully for flaws, to examine or review officially, inspection.
inspection - quality control, the act of inspection or verifying, a formal or official examination, check out , examination, scrutiny , the act of examining closely (as for mistakes, Inspection and repair, Inspection and maintenance.
Wyndham Resort Managers job description- perform regular building and unit inspections to ensure resort standards are met and the resort is safe for guests, owners and staff. There was an item on the computer that discussed an on site inspection. They were looking for chemicals leached into the land, an environmental problem on a Timeshare property in Tennessee.
We believed we purchased Undivided Ownership Interest Contract and Instalment Note - Contract Number 00019-0804864 No 174/Rev. 2- 07. Tenants in common with the other owners in the units in Building Ph.3, Bldg. 15 of the Fairfield, Nashville at music city U.S.A timeshare regime located in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee ("Property"). We weren't offered to tour this facility and inspect if for age, wear and tear, whether it needed refurbishing, layout, size, major repairs, etc. Building condition.
Previous Saturday we had arrived in a snow storm, having been travelling Friday and
Saturday (ordered off the road)/ worrying about mother back in Ontario who broke her shoulder. We were hungry, tired, fed too much information about extra programs. Husband is a diabetic and has an illeostomy. We needed a break. We knew that we had the 15 days rescission time to get educated. We tried to get clear answers to our questions. We had been in the presentation centre for about 4.5 hour. Again the evaluation turned into a history about Wyndham, points information into a sales presentation. We weren't prepared for it.
We didn't like this "palsy walsy" that we would have to deal with Richmond to get to Hawaii. What if he was not available or had moved on and we had to deal with another person who didn't want to do this? He said we needed to work together. He put his personal information in our Fairshare Directory by Wyndham book, name, address phone number, e-mail address. After all that transpired, we would not deal with Richmond Ross again.
In this situation, Richmond Ross chose to say nothing and let us assume that we had not had an on site inspection, because we hadn't seen what we bought, or left his desk in 4.5 hours, no tours, etc. This along with his saying that 15 days was the rescission time we had, has caused us to lose or rescission rights in Dan Luke's, customer relations, opinion; and everyone else that we have dealt with at Wyndham, saying they will not refund our deposit, and cancel the contract. The pat answer is you only had 10 days.
We are not stupid people!!! If we had been given the correct and complete information (Wyndham's interpretation of on site inspection and 10 days) we wouldn't have waited 14 days to finish checking everything out, writing the letter and travelling one hour to the United States to mail the letter to three different addresses, and fax the same information through when we returned. We were put in a "no win" situation and didn't know that our cancellation notice had not been acted on until we received a phone call from Lopez in the Orlando finance department on May 8, 2008. They had no record of our cancellation notice. He gave me the phone number to call George at owner relations in Fort Lauderdale. He gave me the phone number of Dan Luke, senior specialist owner care in Las Vegas. George would send Dan Luke an e-mail. We called Dan Luke and left a message on his voice mail.
His message told us that he would get back to us within 48 hours. When Dan called back he asked a few questions and then told us that the information had been sent to rescissions. He also indicated that being on site meant that we had an on site inspection and were only entitled to a 10 day cooling off period. He said we would hear back in 7-10 days, maybe sooner. At his request we faxed copies of all letters and postal receipts that were sent on March 27, 2008 to him. We received a letter unsigned from your financial department in Las Vegas, May 22, 2008 at which time we were in contact with Dan Luke and your salesman Richmond Ross.
Suzanne's left an angry message on Richmond Ross's personal phone number first thing in the morning. He returned my phone call at 7:30 pm that evening and promised to call Dan Luke and would help us get out of the contract even if it he had to "go up the food chain". Richmond did not call us back within 24 hours as promised and we called him again approximately May 28. The content of that conversation is included in our covering letter. After this conversation, Richmond did not talk to Dan Luke and ourselves and was squirming out of everything rather than admitting that he made a mistake and told us the wrong information and omitted other information, that we used to base our decision.
We heard nothing again until the letter dated May 23, 2008, received June 11, 2008, when Dan Luke told us that the rescission period had been exceeded and that our request had been denied.
We are very angry that we were targeted by your licensed salesman and that your Dan Luke didn't look into our claim that we were told 15 days cooling off any further. Dan Luke did not offer any other name to contact that would listen to our side. Wyndham representatives conducted business with us, in an unprofessional manner with low standards for ethics and customer relations. There was no willingness to take ownership and solve our problem.
We feel that we were bullied and abused.
We are officially "In Dispute". I Suzanne got a book from the library, "The Book of Hard Choices". How to make the right decisions at work to keep your self respect; by James A. Autry and Peter Roy. I have renewed it also. Two quotes from this book helped me. I needed to know that big Corporations could have Ethics.
1. You get paid to know even if you don't know you still get paid to know.
2. Understand that only the truth sounds like the truth.
What we want - The buyer is the most important person and must trust the seller.
1. Cancellation of the contract and all the other programs.
2. Refund of our deposit (return all payments made by us without penalty).
3. If we are in collections, have it cancelled and return our excellent credit rating.
4. An apology for what we have gone through, letters, postage, phone calls with your Wyndham Representatives over many months.
5. Reprimand to Richmond Ross for his deceptive and misleading business practice. He could have been a man, stepped forward and made it right. If he is still denying everything, ask him to take a lie detector, we would.
6. Reprimand to Dan Luke for his poor follow up to our information about Richmond Ross, saying 15 days for rescission, and then Dan Luke sending us a letter saying he values us, our family and friends.
Our daughter has a Shell Vacation. We were invited to join them the week of August 3 to August 6 as it was her birthday August 4. They had an extra accommodation that had to be cancelled, because we have been working on this Wyndham problem for months.
We didn't set up a payment plan to pay the balance of the contract, as we had our own source of credit. If we had wanted to be owners we would have used this source. We don't want to participate in your program and just want this night mare to be over. We cannot and we are sure that you would not deal with a company or anyone who can not be trusted.
Who are we!! - Wayne & Suzanne Clark
1. We are timeshare owners since April/May 1987.
2. Our RCI dues are paid until May of 2013
3. Three weeks deposited-07, 08, 09
4. Excellent credit rating
5. Truthful, excellent character
6. Married and homeowners for over 31 years
7. Parents of 4 children and 3 grandchildren
8. Husband retired for 4 years, was a Certified Management Accountant, worked for a major Steel Company for 39 years
9. Husband was awarded one of two awards for community service by the Society of Management Accountants of Ontario in 2007
10. Husband has volunteered for over 30 years with the Boy Scouts of Canada as a leader and in other capacities.
11. Wife is employed with the Halton District School Board
12. Wife is an educational assistant for 18 years working with special needs students 14-21 years old
13. Volunteers for the M.S. Society
14. Resent having to go through this amount of work to clear up this matter. The stress has made Suzanne's arthritis worse, lost time from work, increased medication strength
At this point we started to investigate various sources on the internet which would help us with claim for rescission.
We have many files of information of agencies that will help with this matter ie: Tennessee Real Estate Commission, Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee, Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs, etc. Also, ARDA President Howard Nusbaum, Richard Ragatz of Richard Ragatz Associates who will be the key note speaker at the CARDA annual conference at the Fairmont Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia October 29-31, 2008 and Robert Paisola C. E. O. and President of the Western Capital Foundation about our experiences with Wyndham. Copies of this letter have been sent to the above along with a copy to our lawyer. We are aware that Wyndham is an ACE award winner. We will approach Wyndham's Senior Management to give us a voluntary discharge of the contract. It is a legitimate form of forgiveness and releasing a claim. Please rectify this situation immediately. We are new Tug members July 15, 2008.
Wyndham has two programs, Count on Me and Magic (making a good impression on the customer). The above programs talk about corporate values, - integrity, accountability, exceptional customer service.
Service promise - to be respectful, responsive, delivering a great experience.
Sales - Many states require a real estate license for time share and adhere to Company and Industry best practices. Sales people are to be Dream Brokers and Memory Makers. Wyndham is a member of CARDA and ARDA,
We will return the Wyndham literature (Kit) at our own expense.
Note: The contract reads
"You may cancel a contract to purchase a timeshare interest within ten (10) days from the date of the contract, where you have made an on-site inspection of the timeshare project before signing the contract, and, if you have not made such an inspection, within fifteen (15) days from the date of the contract. If you elect to cancel, you may do so by hand delivering notice to the seller within the designated period, or by mailing notice to the seller (or his agent for service of process) by prepaid United States mail, postmarked any time within the designated period to post office box 94443, Las Vegas, Nevada 89193"
A copy of our letter dated and sent March 27, 2008, cancelling the contract is enclosed.
Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Financial Services,
10750 West Charleston, Boulevard, Suite 130
Las Vegas, Nevada
Richard Ragatz of Ragatz Associates
Robert Paisola of Western Capital Financial Corporation
Howard Nusbaum - President of ARDA
Better Business Bureau-Middle Tennessee Headquarters
Tennessee Real Estate Commission
Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs
Christopher Breen, LLP
Ross Perlmutter, CARDA
Copyright Robert Paisola 2008 for CNN I Report
No Portion of this article or recording may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Robert Paisola, Western Capital or CNN I Report or it's assigns